However, that place appeared to me as a haunted mansion with white walls

Kurama, gaining a truth whose weight he will have to carry

Also known by its proper name, the National Research Institute on Human Evolution, the Diclonius Research Institute was based on an island stronghold off the coast of Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture run, and owned by the Kakuzawa family, and was said to be their ancestral home.

In the series

The timeframe of the construction of this facility is unclear. Simply put, the Diclonius births caused by Lucy would take at least three years to become a threat when these children's powers emerged. This facility was already up and running and nearing capacity when Kurama joined the staff, which was perhaps as much as a year before Lucy's capture, allowing for his infection by Number 3 and the pregnancy of Hiromi Kurama with Mariko. Lucy's restraining room was already in place when she arrived. Since this island was the ancestral home of the Kakuzawa clan, it is possible, perhaps even likely that they donated this for government use, to enact their ultimate agenda. In Episode Ten, Chief Kakuzawa mentions that the Institute is publicly known as the kind of facility to report the causes of deaths for infants (the children in question being Diclonii reported as dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). As far as anyone in the general public is aware, the island and its facility exist to conduct medical research and possibly medical statistics.

Diclonii not euthanized at birth were taken here for experimentation. Tests included testing the strength of Diclonius vectors, including the firing of iron balls at the Diclonii to record the development of their vectors and the strength it would take to damage one. This research was done in part to test anti-Diclonius weaponry.

An underground grotto was used to keep the Kakuzawas' ultimate plan a secret, and also held their family graveyard.

Lucy spent years in captivity at the Institute, until her escape, and her mother was also captured and brought there. Nana lived there until her battle with Lucy and subsequent move to the Maple House. Mariko spent virtually her entire short life there, as did her various clones. Many Diclonii bred without real faces lived in hellish conditions until their uprising. The researchers and staff showed the girls kept there almost no regard, and instead viewed them like animals rather than children.

A combination of assault and infiltration by Allied Forces, Lucy killing Chief Kakuzawa, and the unleashed fury of the tortured Clone Diclonii brought it down for the count. Of those at the Institute in its final hours, only Arakawa, Anna Kakuzawa, and an unnamed Agent survived.

The island the Institute inhabits is an entirely fictional one. It's apparent distance from the mainland and how the local currents carried Lucy off after her escape indicate that it could be within the Izu Chain of islands. In real life, though, no island in the chain is anywhere near as large as the depiction of the DRI's island.

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